A REALLY BIG SHOW

“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.”

Aristotle, philosopher

 

Twenty-two years after graduation, at age 40, I was just about ready to give up on the idea of being in a high school play, but as the great Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never give up!”

The dream lived on.

When my daughter was cast in her school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie, I remarked to some of her friends that I’d like to play the part of Ed Sullivan. After all, I’d been preparing for the role most of my life.

I grew up watching Ed Sullivan. If you were looking for me on Sunday night, chances are pretty good you would find me in front of the television watching his show. Dancers, puppets, bears, dogs, jugglers, comics, actors, singers, and sports heroes; Ed Sullivan had them all. Any performer knew they had made it if they landed a guest appearance on his show.

What was the secret of his appeal?

Most folks say he made it look like anyone could do his job.

He often made mistakes, fumbled names and tripped over announcements. He was a happy man, but had a stiff cardboard appearance that made him look like he was wearing his jacket with the coat hanger still inside. He was an entertainer everyone could enjoy and his show was safe for the whole family. A lot of people made an attempt at imitating him. Some professionals even made a living at it, I got pretty good at being Ed Sullivan.

“Now right here on our stage…a really big shoe! (show always sounded like shoe when Ed said it.)

The Upper Arlington high school production of Bye Bye Birdie went into rehearsal without me. I went back to minding my own business and occasionally acted like Ed for my own amusement.

As a wise man said long ago, “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.”

I wouldn’t say they were desperate, but opening night was only a week away and they still hadn’t cast the role of Ed Sullivan. The kids didn’t forget me. They told the director about my aspiration. A short time later, opportunity dialed my phone number and I was on my way. The play called for Ed to deliver a few short lines of introduction. This would take place off stage, while some scenery was moved. In other words, the audience would never see Ed, only hear him.

The director recited over the phone what lines were required and I copied them down. Next, I moved into the recording studio. To the average pair of eyes, it may have looked like a cheap recorder in a bathroom, but to me, it was Broadway. After a couple of rehearsals, I cued the record button. A couple of nights later, by way of tape recorder, I was performing in the play.

Now let me borrow a line from Robert Schuller: “God’s delays are not God’s denials.”

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HOLY COW, BE PATIENT

“Adopt the pace of nature her secret is patience.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

“May I have your attention.

Quiet, please.

Okay, how many of you ever drank a glass of milk?

Raise your hand.

Let’s see, one…two…three…37…38…39…103…104…105.

Great, almost everyone!

You can put your hands down now. Thank you.

Several years ago a good friend of mine told me about a painting she gave to a young couple as a wedding gift. The picture was of a cow grazing. Underneath the picture was the caption; “Patience, the grass will become milk someday.”

According to the book, American Averages, by Mike Feinsilber and William B. Mead, “On an average day in America, 10,930,000 cows are milked.” So let’s talk about patience and that glass of moo juice you drank today.

Do you see that cow over there eating grass? It’s a dairy cow and she eats about 50 pounds of food and drinks 15 gallons of water a day. Cows are able to make milk when they are two years old and have given birth to a calf. After the babies are taken away, humans make use of the plentiful supply of milk.

I think you’ll find this next bit of information “udderly” fascinating. The food eaten by a dairy cow is tough and coarse. It’s hard to digest. The cow has a special stomach to deal with this problem. In fact her stomach has four parts.

MOO!

When the cow eats, she chews just enough to swallow her food. The food goes to the first two stomachs, which are called the rumen and the reticulum. When the cow is full, she’s ready for a rest.

When break time is over the cow coughs up balls of food called cud. The cow chews the cud thoroughly and then swallows it again. On this trip, the food goes to the third and fourth stomachs, which are called the omasum and the abomasum. This is where it is finally digested. Some of the food goes into the cow’s bloodstream, then enters the udder where the milk is made.

MOO-VING right along.

When the udder is full, it’s time to milk the cow. This is done by hand or by machine twice a day.

The average cow makes five gallons of milk a day.

Next stop is the dairy where the milk is tested, pasteurized, homogenized, packaged, and made ready for shipment to stores. Don’t forget to pick up a gallon on your way home tonight.

Take a tip from the cow. When cooking up success, notice the recipe calls for plenty of patience sifted through set backs, disappointments and heartaches.

The Bible put it this way: “And let us not be weary in well-doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

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